Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

#7 in Best Things To Do in Cleveland
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo picture
Joanne /Flickr

Key Info

3900 Wildlife Way

Details

Parks and Gardens, Tours, Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.1scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

With more than 3,000 animals representing 600 different species, you'll find plenty to do at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Beyond regular zoo amenities, such as animal viewing, gift shops and dining, this zoo introduces animal lovers to more educational experiences, allowing visitors to participate in a variety of hands-on activities like giraffe and lorikeet feedings, camel rides and overnight programs where guests spend the night at the zoo in safari tents and partake in night hikes, s'mores making and behind-the-scenes tours.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, with past visitors fawning over the exhibits and attractions, particular favorites include the Elephant Crossing and carousel, and the informational docents. Many said this is a must-see family-friendly activity thanks to the zoo's plethora of programs. Some also recommend calling ahead as certain exhibits can be closed for renovations. And to avoid the crowds, consider visiting Tuesday through Friday.

The zoo is located in Cleveland's residential neighborhood, Old Brooklyn, just 5 miles south of downtown. Public transportation is the easiest way to reach the zoo with multiple rail and bus stops nearby. The zoo also has free parking lots for those who drive. Tickets cost $13.25 for adults and $9.25 for children ages 2 to 11 and can be bought on-site or online at a discounted rate. The zoo is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; with extended hours until 7 p.m. on the weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Visit the zoo website for more information on tickets, exhibits and events.  

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#1 Cleveland Metroparks

More than 21,000 acres of nature preserves make up Cleveland's extensive metropolitan park system. There are 18 parks and reservations throughout the Cleveland area that offer a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, fishing, boating, horseback riding and more. Visitors can learn about the reservations at any of the 10 nature visitors centers or partake in group programs like animal tracking and nature explorers. Bring lunch and rest your legs in the picnic areas located throughout the parks.

Although all the reservations provide endless amounts of outdoor fun and gorgeous scenery, the Rocky River Reservation and North Chagrin Reservation come highly recommended from past visitors who said the views were incredible and the nature sightings were aplenty. Many reported seeing a variety of ducks, frogs and birds. The thousands of trails are also great for walks, hikes and bike rides. The Lakefront, Brookside and Washington reservations are within the downtown Cleveland area, and are convenient alternatives if you don't feel like making the trek to the Rocky River and North Chagrin reservations.

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